Cyber Security consists of technologies and best practices to protect networks, computers, software programs, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. Cyber security is used in everything from mobile apps to web platforms. Entities like governments, banks, and shopping applications are the biggest users of cyber security, but every company needs cyber security!
Job opportunities are constantly growing for information security and cyber security professionals. There is global demand for over 8 million security professionals and we’re short by nearly 3 million. It’s safe to say, if you learn cyber security skills, you will be in demand for the foreseeable future. On the cyber security career path, most positions require a bachelor’s degree and about 30% require a certification. Many employers now accept proof of graduating from a cyber security bootcamp instead of a degree but still require a certification. Most information security jobs require a clean criminal background check as well.
Here are some of the most common cyber security job titles:
Depending on the position, cyber security professionals safeguard information systems by identifying, troubleshooting, and solving any security problems. They protect the system by building or maintaining firewalls, defining access privileges, and controlling structures. They may be asked to anticipate requirements by evaluating trends and assessing the current state of the security system. The cyber security professional will perform upgrades and regular maintenance. Some cyber security roles will require the Engineer or Analyst to communicate with clients and create performance reports.
The duties of Cyber Security Engineers and Cyber Security Analysts differ from company to company. A Cyber Security Engineer might analyze computer networks and ensure they run securely, try to predict possible security issues, and design computer systems equipped to deal with disruptions and attacks. A Cyber Security Analyst plans and carries out security measures to protect a computer network. Analysts should expect to be evaluating and tracking threats, monitoring network security, and executing plans.
Brian teaches Cyber Security at Evolve Security Academy and describes his career in cyber: “My first full time job in cyber security was at a major insurance company. I focused on application security, security operations, and vulnerability management. I also worked on their Computer Security Incident Response team. Later, I worked for an e-commerce startup. I built their security team and established their security program while they scaled from small startup to booming e-commerce platform.”
|Cybersecurity Job||Average Salary|
|Information Security Analyst||$90,120|
|Systems Security Administrator Salary||$106,000|
|Network Security Administrator||$110,000|
|Chief Security Office (10 years of experience)||$140,000|
Depending on your cyber security role and the company you’re working for, you’ll need to know some programming, operating systems, and cloud computing systems. Here are the skills most cyber security bootcamps will teach:
For higher level positions, you’ll need deeper knowledge of:
For a security job at any level, you’ll need to know the OWASP Security Principles:
In addition to technical skills, a good Cyber Security career starts with soft skills. If you want to get into a management or an officer role, you will need to be able to communicate with and manage a team effectively. You’ll need to know how to establish respectful communication with everyone from clients to Administrators and Engineers. Other important soft skills include keeping up with the news, continuous learning, and vigilantly looking at things through a cyber security lens.
According to Manju Mude, a mentor at Springboard, “The only prerequisite for cyber security is that you think and understand risks and threats.” If you’re looking for jobs and not sure if you want to commit to a bootcamp and certifications yet, she recommends starting off with a job on the compliance team of a legal department.
Over 90% of cyber security jobs require some form of degree. If you don’t already have a college degree, you should strongly consider getting a degree in Information Technology, Information Security, or Cyber Security. An associate’s degree is sufficient for some entry-level positions. A cyber security degree gives students experience in programming, statistics, ethics, computer forensics, and analytical skills. A master’s degree in Cyber Security opens doors to higher-level Chief roles as well as higher salaries.
If you already have a college degree in any field, and you want to pivot to a cyber security career, consider a bootcamp! Most cyber security bootcamps are not for complete tech newbies – so if you’ve never coded before, you should consider a general full stack coding bootcamp first. Information Security (InfoSec) classes are a big help for beginners, too. Most security bootcamps require one to two years of IT systems or development experience. Bootcamp tuitions cost between free to $19,000, and they range in duration from 9-20 weeks. Most bootcamps offer financing options.
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